My Day 1 (092620)

My story: Last August at USAT Nationals I had a great race and improved a ton year to year.
Soon after Labor Day, my work load changed, training took a backseat, and I spent long hours in front of a computer. Well, we know how that goes. And, yeah, 2020. WFH and Covid had me up 50 lbs from last September when the month started. (195 to 245)
I’ve been running (using my Stryd pod) 17 of the last 21 days and back down 7 lbs. (238 today)
Now it’s time to get back on the bike (Wahoo Kicker). My SF Day 1 was today.
Used the iPhone to do my the setup, then the Full Frontal Test.
Test Results:
5 second (Neuromuscular Power): 661W (valid)
1 minute (Anaerobic Capacity): 286W (valid)
5 minute (Maximal Aerobic Power): 230W (valid)
20 minute (Functional Threshold Power): 174W (valid)

Most important thing, finished the whole test, didn’t give up.
Definitely looking at the plans tonight and to find something that’s going to try to build my base endurance next. The goal 200 lbs by XMas and then 180 by end of April for Tri Season.

Can’t wait to be able to see workouts on Apple TV down the road.
Really badass site.

Would love to know how some of your first days went, and how far you’ve improved since joining.


Brian in TN


Hi Brian that sounds great! My initial test was similar to yours when I did it back in March. I did the pre-season mountain bike plan with a pause for one or two mechanicals. I retested 1st with Half Monty at 200 FTP and then FF at 220 FTP. FF is a tough test so there is definitely an edge going into it knowing what it feels like and it is worth watching the FF videos again before the test. Overall the program is working for me and I added strength and yoga too which I would recommend. I have also done the mental toughness program which does help quite a bit. Best of luck to you!


Appreciate the insight! Congrats on ur progress!!

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I’m a long time runner. Started training for triathlons in 2018. First tri season was 2019 and I did 5 sprint tri’s. I did all my own home made workouts with input from some training sites. Basically ended up doing mostly random interval sessions with most workouts ending up as sweet spot or zone 2. That got me good as a time trialist, but I had little high end power and hill courses were tough. Frankly, I needed more structured training. But I don’t have the time/money for a personal coach. I started marathon training and longer bike sessions and shorter but more frequent swim sessions with the plan of doing an Olympic Tri in May, 2020.

Enter Covid. I ran the LA marathon the beginning of March then immediately went into self-isolation due to the risk encountered at the marathon, the subsequent lockdowns, and at-risk family members. My Olympic tri was cancelled. I took the rest of March off to recover from the marathon. Then it was hard to get back into training and being to do it safely.

I joined The Sufferfest the end of March and did FF in April and then started my first training plan. This was all on my $20 second-hand dumb trainer using virtual watts. It was not surprise and completely expected when I did my first 4DP and my AC, MAP, and FTP levels were all very similar due to my severe lack of high-end training, and as expected my profile was Time Trialist. So, I began using the 12 week All Purpose Road Plan with my initial FTP at 237.

Ouch. It worked. I increased all 3 higher end numbers. but, my FTP didn’t budge. It actually went down 2w to 235w.

I could feel and see the high-end increases, but felt like my FTP and steady-state efforts weren’t being worked, and as a triathlete looking to move into Olympic and longer distances I needed to work more on those steady-state efforts. So, then I moved to a Metric Century plan. That had the desired effect. I still had 2 or 3 good interval workouts to start each week and then lots of tempo and sweet spot efforts and long rides at the end of each week. Shortly before I did Half Monty at the 6 week point I could already feel the improvement as I was easily doing Defender at 10-15w over the targets all the way through. When I finally did my Half Monty test my MAP was up 7 and my FTP jumped 20 to 255w!

Now, I’m finishing up the Metric Century plan this week, although I’ve actually already ridden 100km 3 weeks ago - I had a 3.5 hour ride on my training plan and I was so close to 100km that I rode for 15 more minutes and did the whole 100km in less than 4 hours! I also just got a SmartTrainer. So, after this plan is over I’m planning to do another Half Monty and then do another 4DP test in a week or two to check my fitness and also compare the two and see the differences between my dumb trainer and my new SmartTrainer. But overall I can say that I’ve seen a lot of great gains just from April until now.

Next up is a 100miler and then plan for my knighthood. The suffering will be glorious.


That is so cool. 255 is great!! Good luck with that 100 + Knighthood plan. I wish I had adapted better when WFH started, sounds like you did a nice job tinkering with plans to get what you needed. It’s good to see not all plans “feel right.”

I am actually planning to re-do my test, now that I have replaced my stretched chain, and properly swapped out the 11 gear cassette for a 10… (facepalm) … how did I figure this out? … I did Elements of Style yesterday and nearly injured myself trying the standing segments (not enough wattage resistance, on the standing segments to keep my 236 pounds balanced) and then I remembered having lots of chain skipping during the day 1 test. Asked a buddy at a local bike shop, and he laughed. But 32 bucks later “Thin Air”, (just finished) felt much smoother.

Unfortunately, with my low LTH (167) the workout intensity for my HR seemed too low. Avg HR 110 max 123. And I passed on the Standing Segments (even w/a Kicker Climb on the front), because again the ERG mode wattage seems too light when we go to stand.

Any other setting suggestions (other than re-testing) on how to better handle the up and downs in these workouts? Or is that just part of the being 236 that I’ll just have to weight/wait it out until the lbs come off?



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Hey man!

I actually just started as well and took my 4DP yesterday.

5 Sec - 1045
1 Min - 425
5 Min - 350
20 Min - 273

I am apparently a “Pursuiter”.

I was a little afraid of sufferfest to start out, as, while I really love cycling, this seemed a little too “serious” for me at first.

The first time the app talked shit to me during the 4DP tho… I knew I was gonna love it.

Knocked out The Downward Spiral today and loved it.

I’m excited to join this community and see what else it has in store for me!


Haha, I’m realizing i messed up my numbers in my post, but I can’t edit it again. lol. Not that it changes much, but they did fluctuate a bit more down in the middle of my first training set. Ahh, whatever. lol. The main thing I wanted to add was that standing up was VERY hard for me to do when I started. Can’t say I did it much. And when you don’t train something you don’t get very good at it. I can still only really stand up at lower cadences and higher power. But the more I’ve done the workouts and actually stand up when instructed, the more my muscles have adapted and the much easier it is getting. I’m 185, so I’m still barely 3w/kg. And I can’t stand on any wattage under 190, otherwise it just feels awkward. Maybe the coaches have some good recommendations on how to improve your standing. Maybe trying doing The Shovel, Revolver, or Half is Easy or something with higher power numbers that allow you to do a lot more standing? It’ll get easier the further you get along.

My LTHR is also very low at 157. My Max HR on my last HM was 171. But HR varies so much. Power is really the best thing to follow. But again, maybe the coaches have some better advice. :slight_smile:

Enjoy your suffering!

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1045 is impressive. I’m classified as a “Pursuiter” as well.

So after a getting a new chain, yesterday, and swapping the 11 gear cassette for a 10 gear cassette that matches my Cervelo’s 10 speed shifters/derailleurs, I thought I would re-test today.

Got through 40 mins before I had to tap out (I know weak-sauce) but the max watts for 5 sec jumped from 661 to 877 and the 5 min test was better, too. I was halfway through that 20 mins when the HR was spiking at 180 and was starting to lose the 88-90 cadence … it was drifting towards 85-82, so I downshifted to get that cadence back up, and then I just bonked.

So going to work on endurance rides over the next few days and give it another go, next week.

Best of luck,


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Day 1 (9/26/20) Weight 238.9 BF% 40.1
Day 35: Weight 226.3 BF% 34.1
After a 4 week Base Block + Full Frontal Prep Week, New FF Results are in:

A nice tic up in FTP (202) and MAP (251) from the 10/20 Half Monty effort.
Obvious the chain replacement and hub correction aided the big NM Jump, but I didn’t expect the new rider classification as “Sprinter” but tomorrow begins a new round of BASE Blocks.

My 53rd Birthday is January 20, so I might try to time a Knighthood Attempt then.

Cheers to More Glorious Suffering!